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2nd trip to crater of diamonds with a few pics

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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I ran up there Friday night to work all day Saturday (70 degrees); Sunday morning was 22 lol. I don't live far away, so I wanted to gain some more knowledge on how to find diamonds! I was there to work.

I stayed at Queen of Diamonds Inn for 94.00 ++ a night. Last time I stayed at the more kitschy Little Shamrock Motel for 69.00
A night, but they were closed for the winter.

Queen of diamonds:

image_4498.jpg

I arrived at the crater Saturday morning around 8:45 (opens at 8 am ) I was the only person there for a while: 36 acres to myself.

Pic of Minefield from the visitor center:

image_4499.jpg

More pics soon... Check back
 

whitewave

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Here is the entrance to the mine field. I took a right at that very first pathway by the first sign and went up a little hill to what is called the north minefield area.
I have zero idea why the upload keeps putting this pic upside down and I give up trying to figure it out, sorry.
image_4501.jpg


Washed gravel: is that a diamond? No! It's Quartz
image_4502.jpg
Quartz is a good sign that you are digging in the right material.

Diamond bearing soil is green (kimberlite/lamporite) so you can kind of see the green hue. I wish I had taken closer pics, but I was there by myself and there to wash as much gravel as I could, so there was no time for pics. I took this pic because I was ticked off that with about 8 people on 36 acres, these two were in "my space" close to where I was digging. That is my blue tarp and my blue wagon over there.
image_4503.jpg
 

whitewave

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More Quartz:

image_4504.jpg

A pic of the north minefield with the original mine shaft building (circa early 1900s I guess?) and the pitiful
North washing station (where my orange bucket is, be prepared to squat at that one)

image_4505.jpg


I'm not sure is this pano will come out; panoramic pic of the minefield
image_4506.jpg
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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The park allows each person to bring home two 5 gallon buckets of washed gravel per day. The old timers told me that the statistic is that on average you have to wash about 100 buckets of gravel to find a diamond. So the key is to work quickly and efficiently and process as many buckets as you can. So you do all your digging and washing at the park and at home you do more washing and baking (yes, bake) because everything looks like a shiny diamond when wet. Then you sort and look for diamonds.

Some of my take home washed gravel:

image_4507.jpg

Rinsing it again in my classifier: image_4508.jpg

Baking it on low:
image_4509.jpg
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks, whitewave - that was fun!
 

whitewave

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You're welcome! I love going to the crater-- good energy there. No electronics, just playing in the mud. It really resets me.

We should have a PS meeting there once!

I'll post more pics after I bake and when I am sorting.
 

dollyanjuli

Brilliant_Rock
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oh man! going to the park is on my bucket list for sure. Im waiting until my son is old enough to enjoy wallowing in the mud with his mama =) Keep us posted!
 

ac117

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Awesome pics!! I hope you find something! :pray: I'd love to go there someday, too!
 

whitewave

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Some kids some home to fresh baked cookies; my kids come home to fresh baked rocks lol.

image_4513.jpg


When I go, I wonder why am I there? It's hard work. My body is sore; it seems impossible. But then I go rest for the night and I'm ready to go back again. I need a new wagon though... That beach cart isn't working for me.
 

poshmommy

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So much fun! Glad you had it to yourself for awhile. Thank you so much for the pictorial review. My kids want to go sometime too. Will add it to the list. After all that baking, any luck?
 

whitewave

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For those with kids, be warned there is a small water park there. Good/bad...

Posh mommy, they are all baked and dried and all in a bucket. Tonight, I will go through small batches with a spotlight to see if any diamonds are there. If not, I will fill in erosion off my driveway with the gravel :drool:

I'll keep you posted!
 

clearfading

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Love this post! I so want to go there too! Loved the photo essay, thanks for walking us though it!
 

VRBeauty

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I'm glad you're having fun! Thanks for including us in your adventure. I hope one of these trips will net you a diamond!
 

whitewave

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The woman who found esperanza wasnt even digging! She was taking a break and sitting under a tree when a glint caught her eye!

Crystals I wish were diamonds: (this isn't even half of them... I stopped putting them aside). Still plenty of gravel to look through img_1874.jpg
 

whitewave

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No diamonds :doh:

My daughter is going to come with me next time.

93 more buckets of gravel to go! Lol
 

whitewave

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Thanks for linking that thread! I just came back to PS recently, so I missed the whole thing! I would have driven to meet them, as I am not far from whiteflash either!

Yeah, 100 buckets of gravel won't stop me. I want to dig my own diamond out of the ground. I don't care if it is a 10 point..
 

whitewave

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Well, this turned into an obsession quickly; I went back to the crater (posting from Murfreesboro, Arkansas!) today and brought my daughter. It rained very hard yesteday, so we were hoping to surface search. We didn't find anything interesting doing that, so we went back to wet sifting. I washed about 6 buckets of material today, and have one full five gallon bucket and about a half of another of washed gravel to bring home.

We may go back an hour or two tomorrow, but thunderstorms are in the forecast, so we will play it by ear. It was a beautiful day to be out there today. Sunny and a high of 57 degrees.
 

whitewave

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My haul home is now clean and dry. I won't be able to go through it until after Jan 5 or so, and it will take me a while to do that.

image_4521.jpg

Oh! The park allows you to take ONE (not two!!) five gallon bucket of washed gravel home per person per day.
 

Texas Leaguer

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When you get down and dirty trying to scratch a diamond out of the earth it tends to give you a new appreciation for just how special the material actually is!

Earlier in my career I had been trading in sapphires for several years before making my first trip to Sri Lanka. I took a run up to Ratnapura where many of the sapphires are 'mined'. Basically small pits are dug down into the gem bearing gravels that lie just below the surface, which is also where the water table is in this area. So the 'miners' stand in chest deep water and scoop out baskets of gravel and pick through it hoping to find a gem now and again. I remember seeing the production of one miner that we returned to at the end of the day. Only a few small shards of sapphire for a long days work immersed in water.

I never looked at a gem sapphire in the same way again!!
 

whitewave

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Cool story. Thanks for sharing!

We are trying to figure out if this is Quartz or a diamond. We lean to Quartz. image_4522.jpg

image_4523.jpg

image_4524.jpg

I'm taking macro shots this afternoon.
 

kenny

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Ya know ... the Tiffany showroom is starting to look very very glamorous. :D

screen_shot_2016-12-30_at_6.png
 

whitewave

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I surprised myself by having a ton of fun in the slop! I thought it was a good place to dig, but in going through gravel from there, I don't have many diamond indicators (spinel, Quartz etc). So not expecting a diamond in this batch.

My friend wants to go back in 2 weeks, so that will be my 4th visit. I'm going back to the place I dug in on dec 19. I had plenty of spinel in that gravel.

I've spent enough on this new hobby so far to buy a .37 diamond lol.... I just can't explain how special this place is to me. I'm grateful to be able to go.
 

VRBeauty

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Making it to Crater of the Diamonds has been on my - uh - bucket list for some time now. I didn't realize it was so potentially addictive, though!
 
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